I awoke not long after six. It had been a cold night during which I put on a headscarf and jumper to keep myself warm. It was cold packing up the tent. Everything was wet. My fingers froze. When I started walking it was in a pair of leather gloves. The sun had only just peeked over a nearby mountain as I left. While walking through town I saw a bar open. It was only around eight. I was surprised. I went in and ordered a hot chocolate. I noticed in the kitchen there was a fuel stove alight. The woman running the bar said I could use it to warm my hands. It took about five minutes to thaw them. After that it was so good to wrap them around a cup filled with a hot drink.

I walked beside a river all day. I felt energized by its presence. The sounds it made were very reassuring. For about half the day it was like walking at the point of an inverted triangle. Then the valley opened up. Some of the land was farmed. You don’t need much land to grow a crop. At least that’s been what I’ve seen here and in Italy. I just love the way that everyone who owns a house has a vegetable garden. The sound of cackling hens triggers in me a desire to live in the country.

I waited until I’d done about an hours walk before having breakfast. By this time the
sun was up. It would have been miserable to eat back at the cold, wet campsite. It gave me an opportunity to dry my tent. Along the way I saw some interesting stratified rock formations stretching high up the mountain sides. But the most interesting of all was what I saw on the outskirts of Digne. At first I thought it was a charcoal coloured concrete face they’d put on the side of the hill to prevent slides which had been reinforced with old car tyres. I then saw an information plaque which had a description of the site in English. The circular objects I had seen were
ammonites. Around 200 million years ago the entire area around Digne was under water. About 1500 ammonites at this site fell to the oceanh floor and over time
sediment settled on and preserved them. Several tens of millions of years later when
the Alpes were pushed up parts of the ocean floor were overturned resulting in what you see today. You could get close enough to touch them, but I didn’t. Fascinating stuff!

At my second food stop my view was of the river as it emerged between two intersecting mountain sides. I watched as it meandered towards me. Just below where I was sitting was a tiny rapid providing a minature white water display as I ate.

You know those big, metallic, chunky keys they give you at hotels so you don’t walk
away with them on your pocket. I managed to walk away with one from the hotel I stayed at in Solonnet. When I got to Digne I posted it to the hotel. One less thing to carry. The other thing I needed to do when I got here was to get out of the clothes I’d been wearing for four days. One reason for staying in hotels is so I can wash my clothes. Putting on clean clothes is nearly as good as taking off my backpack at the end of the day. One you put on and the other you take off. They both bring joy.

I didn’t drink a lot of water while on the walk today. I only just had enough to make it to Digne. My body was so in need of hydration not long after arriving I drank a 1.25lt of water and at dinner tonight I drank another litre. While I’ve bee typing this blog another half lite has disappeared. Where does it all go? However technically, this number may not be applicable since a 20/20 vision is accorded to people with a retina resolution as high as 1 arcmin